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Industry News

Around the Circuit

July 1, 1999
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Around the Circuit

INDUSTRY NEWS

Melissa Urann , assistant to the publisher of Microwave Journal, died June 17 after a long battle with cancer. She was 45 years old. Melissa was well known in the industry, having spent more than five years working on the business aspects of Microwave Journal as well as several years with Telecommunications® magazine.

Electrical and electronic connector supplier Tyco International Ltd. has announced plans to purchase electronic component manufacturer Raychem Corp. , Menlo Park, CA, in a cash and stock deal valued at $2.87 B. According to the terms of the agreement, Raychem shareholders will be able to choose the breakdown of their compensation in terms of cash vs. Tyco stock, subject to certain limitations.

Electronic control product and system manufacturer Spectrum Control Inc. , Erie, PA, has acquired substantially all of the assets of AMP Inc.'s Signal Conditioning Products Division , Harrisburg, PA, for approximately $20 M. Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Spectrum Control acquired AMP's ceramic filter manufacturing technology and related electromagnetic interference product lines.

Park Electrochemical Corp. has announced the formation of Metclad International Corp. , a wholly owned subsidiary, to manufacture and market polytetrafluoroethylene-based laminates for the microwave, RF and wireless communications market on a worldwide basis. Initially, Metclad International will be located at Park Electrochemical's corporate offices in Lake Success, NY.

SEMX Corp. , Armonk, NY, has signed a letter of intent to sell its silicon wafer reclaiming business to Harrison Hurley and Company , Providence, RI. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The sale is subject to completion of due diligence, execution of a definitive purchase agreement, arrangement of financing and approval of SEMX's board of directors.

Testing service provider Garwood Laboratories Inc. , Pico Rivera, CA, has opened its new World Compliance Division in Placentia, CA. The new division specializes in worldwide compliance, providing both electromagnetic compatibility and product safety testing to meet domestic and international standards.

Magellan Corp. , a subsidiary of Orbital Sciences Corp. , and NEC Corp. have announced the formation of a strategic partnership to develop Global Positioning System (GPS) semiconductor and system products for high volume, low cost consumer market applications. A primary objective of the partnership is to develop a GPS intellectual property core and firmware for use in logic-based system-on-a-chip devices. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but a product announcement is expected later this year. In related news, Magellan and the American Automotive Aftermarket Network (Ameraan), a US tire road hazard and automotive warranty supplier, have announced an agreement to develop a satellite-based engine monitoring system for automotive consumers, fleet operators and other commercial automotive markets. The integrated system will monitor key engine components by linking Magellan's new OM200 satellite modem to an OBDII interface "black box" developed by Ameraan and to the vehicle's onboard diagnostic system. During operation, the system will transmit performance and driveability information via the ORBCOMM low earth orbit satellite constellation to the Ameraan control center where automotive technicians will analyze potential problems and communicate recommendations to customers.

Maury Microwave Corp. , Ontario, CA, and ATN Microwave , North Billerica, MA, have formed a partnership to expand and develop software and hardware solutions to advance the state of the art in the field of device characterization. It is anticipated that the alliance will ultimately lead to joint marketing of selected products by each company.

Tektronix Inc. , Beaverton, OR, has announced a revamping of its Measurement Business Division 's customer service organization. The comprehensive Services 2000 program focuses on customer demand for decreased downtime and increased quality of service. A national call center with a single, toll-free number has been launched, and the company's 12 service depots have been consolidated into two highly specialized, automated service centers. The company has also created a core team of customer care engineers who will be strategically located to facilitate post-sales support for major customer accounts.

State-funded electronics technology incubator MCNC has announced a spinoff of its seven-year-old microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) business unit. The new company, Cronos Integrated Microsystems Inc. , is based in Research Triangle Park, NC and is reportedly the first commercial enterprise to focus exclusively on the skyrocketing demand for broad-based MEMS components. Initial products are focused on the communications and microinstrumentation markets.

Sawgrass Electronics Group has announced plans to conduct business under the combined names of its two main properties. The company will be known primarily as Micro Networks Corp. subtitled with Andersen Laboratories , the Bloomfield, CT-based manufacturer of surface acoustic wave components recently acquired by Micro Networks. The Sawgrass investment group and institutional investors will remain the company's financial backers.

Microwave radio manufacturer P-Com Inc. has entered into an agreement with microwave radio communications product supplier NEC America Inc. to provide private-label, high frequency, low capacity digital microwave radios to NEC. The new, unnamed series will be offered in the 18, 23 and 38 GHz frequency bands and complements and expands NEC's existing product line. NEC will act as the primary service provider, dealing with all aspects of equipment, technical assistance and product support.

Teijin Ltd. and DuPont have expanded their joint venture in aramid papers to include specialty papers used for electronic circuit substrates. The existing joint venture, DuPont Teijin Advanced Papers Japan Ltd. , has been successful in the development, manufacture and marketing of aramid papers for electrical insulation in industrial equipment since its formation in 1994. This same partnership will now become a center for development and production of specialty papers that are being adopted in smaller, lighter designs of mobile telephones and other consumer products.

Palomar Technologies ' new CBT 6000 wire bonder and 3500-II component work cells have been selected by Analog Devices for use in the production of multichip modules at Analog's Greensboro, NC facility.

Praxsym Inc. , Fisher, IL, has begun production of a line of AMPS and GSM test equipment. Praxsym acquired the inventory, equipment and manufacturing rights for the Pathtrax product line from Chesapeake Microwave Technologies , Glen Rock, PA, and will now supply the one-watt test transmitters and companion high selectivity receivers to the wireless industry to aid in the planning and deployment of microcell installations.

Karl Suss America Inc. , Waterbury Center, VT, has completed the first installation of its FC150 flip chip bonder in mainland China for the North China Research Institute (NCRIEO). The device is intended to support NCRIEO's work in the area of optoelectronics as well as a complete range of bonding applications, including multichip modules, focal plane arrays, chip on glass and flat-panel displays.

Eagle Wireless International Inc. , Houston, TX, has announced that 12 pilot sites have been selected in two Houston neighborhoods for the installation and evaluation of the company's wireless security backup systems. The systems provide a secondary signal from a monitored alarm system to alert the central station that an alarm has been tripped. Once the pilot program is complete, shipments against a three-year, $12.6 M purchase order from information management solution provider Utility Automation Inc. for security backup systems and wireless water meters are scheduled to begin.

Space Electronics Inc. , San Diego, CA, a subsidiary of Maxwell Technologies Inc. , has announced the delivery of its SPARC Microprocessor Experiment (SMX) Board to the Defense Electronics Research Agency (DERA) in the UK. SMX is a prototype advanced space computer board hardened to the space radiation environment. DERA will integrate the computer and launch its Space Technology Research Vehicles (STRV) project late this year. STRV is a joint US/UK experimental spacecraft program designed to demonstrate new technologies and gain flight experience and heritage.

Portable wireless test and measurement product manufacturer Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc. , Metuchen, NJ, has appointed Safco Technologies Inc. , Chicago, IL, as its international distributor for Israel, Japan, South Korea and Turkey.

Frequency control device manufacturer M-tron Industries , Yankton, SD, has added Arrow/Bell and the Arrow/Richey Groups to its distributor network.

MEGA Industries , Gorham, ME, has been named North American distributor for H. Rollet & Company Ltd. 's rectangular waveguide material. MEGA Industries now can provide off-the-shelf delivery of waveguide tube in the 320 MHz to 50 GHz frequency range in copper, aluminum and 90/10 bronze alloy.

SierraCom , Hopkinton, MA, has received ETSI and CE approval on its recently introduced 38 GHz Connection™ series digital radio. The Connection radio was designed to provide a low cost alternative to higher priced, conventional radios for microcell connections and short-range access applications, and to replace expensive leased E1/T1 lines.

ANADIGICS , Warren, NJ, has received a US patent (no. 5,892,400) for its on-chip single-polarity power supply technology for power amplifiers that enables designers of cellular telephones to take advantage of high performance GaAs MESFET technology in a single-chip power amplifier solution. The high resistivity GaAs substrate provides a way to simplify the DC-to-DC converter function compared to typical silicon implementations.

Circuit Assembly Corp. , Irvine, CA, has been issued a US patent (no. 5,902,147) for the design of its ATAS™ proprietary 40-pin ultra ATA connector, which provides protection against signal crosstalk. The company is also anticipating the issuance of foreign patents for the technology in the near future.

3Com 's external cable modems have received certification from Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs) . The retail-certified modems are identifiable by a CableLabs Certified™ seal, which informs consumers and cable operators that a modem complies with the CableLabs' cable modem specification. The seal also indicates that the modem will communicate (interoperate) with qualified cable system headends, which soon will be deployed in a substantial number of systems worldwide.

Vertically integrated advanced material, fabricated component, surface modification coating and electronic package supplier ART Inc. , Buffalo, NY, has received ISO 9001 certification.

Interconnect technology developer Circuit Assembly Corp. , Irvine, CA, is celebrating its 30th year in business. The company was established in February 1969 as a single facility in Santa Ana, CA and today is a multimillion-dollar firm with sales and manufacturing capabilities in the US, Mexico, Costa Rica, Taiwan and China.

FINANCIAL NEWS

Ansoft Corp. reports sales of $24.5 M for the year, ended April 30, compared to $26.3 M in 1998. Net loss was $2.8 M (25¢/diluted share). Sales were $7.7 M for the fourth quarter, compared to $7.8 M for the fourth quarter last year.

Eagle Wireless International Inc. reports sales of $727 K for the second quarter, ended February 28, compared to $1.1 M for the same period last year. Net income was $54 K (1¢/share), compared to $96 K (1¢/share) for the second quarter last year.

Cascade Microtech Inc. , Beaverton, OR, has announced the closing of a new round of $3 M equity financing from Hewlett-Packard Co. , Palo Alto, CA and Maristeth Ventures Fund, Tacoma, WA. The money will be used to expand manufacturing capacity and to fund working capital growth as required by increasing demand for Cascade's Pyramid Probe™ Cards and automatic parametric and RF probing systems.

CONTRACTS

Raytheon Co. , Lexington, MA, will produce or upgrade 177 STANDARD Missile-2 Block IIIBs and Block IVs for the Naval Sea Systems Command, Arlington, VA, under the terms of a new $135 M contract. The STANDARD Missile is the Navy's primary anti-air warfare missile and is operational on US Navy guided missile cruisers, destroyers and frigates and with 13 international navies. Several configurations are currently in development or production, each designed to meet a specific mission requirement. Work under the contract, scheduled to be completed in December 2001, will be performed at Raytheon facilities across the US, including Tucson, AZ; Andover and Quincy, MA; Camden, AR; Farmington, NM; and Austin and Dallas, TX. In related news, Raytheon has been awarded a $35 M subcontract from TRW Inc., Ogden, UT, for US Air Force Strategic Communications Systems equipment. Raytheon will supply TRW with a key component of the Air Force's Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network, which will support Minuteman launch control centers with secure, user-friendly communications that can withstand nuclear attack. The Minuteman Program contract has a potential value of $98.7 M. Work will be performed at Raytheon's Satellite Communication facilities in Marlborough, MA.

Watkins-Johnson Co. 's Telecommunications Group has been awarded two contracts totaling $8.2 M for electronic receiving equipment from Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company. Additional details of the agreements were not disclosed.

Mixed-signal and analog IC designer and producer American Microsystems Inc. , Pocatello, ID, has received a $5 M order from NOVALOG Inc., Costa Mesa, CA, to supply foundry services for the patented NOVALOG SIRCommIII™ wireless infrared (IR) control circuit chip. NOVALOG intends to use the chip in IR transceiver modules designed to meet the industry-standard SIR 1.0 physical layer specification of the Infrared Data Association (IrDA®).

M/A-COM , SIGINT Products , Hunt Valley, MD, has been awarded a $3.5 M contract by the US Department of Defense Maryland Procurement Office to supply an undisclosed number of microwave receivers. The receivers are a variant of M/A-COM's highly successful SMR-5550 COTS microwave receiver, which feature a 1 to 18 GHz tuning range (extendible 0.5 to 40 GHz), three operator-selected IF outputs (70, 140 and 160 MHz), IF spectrum inversion, good bit error rate performance and high dynamic range.

Discovery Semiconductors Inc. , Princeton Junction, NJ, has announced the receipt of two contracts to develop systems based on its ultra-wideband PIN photodiodes and receivers. The first award from the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization for $65 K covers the development of a 100 GHz photodetector/amplifier followed by the design and simulation of a new class of 100 GHz RF emitter and receiver modules. The second award, a $736 K contract from the US Army, will target the development of multilevel photonic modules consisting of a monolithic PIN photodetector/power amplifier that provides 44 GHz bandwidth and a power output of 100 mW.

Boonton Electronics Corp. , Parsippany, NJ, has received a contract to supply 45 model 8701 VXI modulation meters to the UK's Ministry of Defense. The modulation meter measures AM and FM frequencies to within one percent of reading, phase modulation to three percent over a carrier frequency range of 100 kHz to 2.5 GHz and carrier levels to as low as 0.01 dB. The contract is valued at $530 K.

Chipscale Robotics , Fremont, CA, has received an order for a high accuracy pick-and-place die attach system from a large US semiconductor manufacturer. The system will pick die from 8" or 12" wafers under wafer map software control and place them into a variety of packages to an accuracy of 0.0005". Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

PERSONNEL

Ross Wayne Manire has been named president, CEO and member of the board of directors at Chatham Technologies Inc. Manire came to the company from 3Com Corp. where he was senior VP and general manager of the Carrier Systems Division.

W. Ed Campbell has joined the executive team at Centurion International Inc. as CFO. Campbell has 20 years of financial management experience with manufacturing companies throughout the Midwest. He will plan, direct and monitor all aspects of the company's financial activities, including domestic and overseas subsidiaries.

PDF Solutions has made two new personnel appointments, including David Joseph as VP, business development and Carlo Guardiani as Statistical Design Practice director. Previously, Joseph was VP, strategic alliances at KLA-Tencor and Guardiani was R&D manager for advanced research at STMicroelectronics.

TriPoint Global has made several new personnel appointments, including William L. (Bill) Shillito as VP and general manager for Technical Products, John T. Russell as VP, international sales for RSI (a TriPoint Global company) and Nathan A. Knutson as operations manager for Universal Antennas. Previously, Shillito was VP, operations and engineering at Prodelin (another TriPoint Global company), Russell was director of business development at Media4 Inc. and Knutson was president of Ranger Satellite Communications.

John Swank has joined TEGAM Inc. as VP, engineering. Swank has more than 30 years of experience in design and development of test and measurement instruments and most recently was the director of engineering and principal engineer at Bird Electronics Corp.

Abpac Inc. has appointed Gil Olachea VP, marketing. Olachea brings with him 22 years of experience in elec-tronic engineering technology from the semiconductor sector and sales/marketing in the IC packaging business.

Communication Solutions Inc. has named James A. Andem director of sales and marketing. Andem has more than 25 years of business development experience within the signals intelligence industry.

Eric Forstner has joined Comtech PST as director of business development responsible for leveraging the company's core technologies into new marketplaces. Prior to joining Comtech PST, Forstner was wireless product manager for Microwave Power Devices Inc. (MPD).

Ron Zukowski has been appointed director of operations at Boonton Electronics Corp. Most recently, Zukowski was manufacturing manager at Philips/Lucent Technologies' New Product Introduction Center.

GHz Technology Inc. has named Anthony J. Riemma to the dual role of western regional sales manager and wireless marketing engineer. Prior to joining the company, Riemma held positions at Rockwell-Collins and Motorola.

Robert W. Ott has been appointed Asian regional sales manager at Palomar Technologies. Ott has more than 12 years of experience in capital equipment service and support with extensive background in Asia. He has lived and worked in Singapore and Taiwan, serving as regional manager for Sym-Tek Systems and ESI.

Waveline Inc.'s Solid State division has appointed Chris Del Plato manager of RF/microwave components, and Darren Bua principal engineer. Formerly, Del Plato was with KDI/Triangle Corp. and Bua was with ETI.

REP APPOINTMENT

Coaxial cable assembly supplier MegaPhase, Souderton, PA, has announced the appointment of several US sales representatives, including VAL Technical Sales, North Andover, MA, to cover New England; Dura Sales of Southern California to cover Southern California; Dura Electronic Sales, Cupertino, CA, to cover Northern California; R-Tek, Palatine, IL, to cover the Midwest; and M. Lader Co. to cover the Mid-Atlantic states, including Pennsylvania.

WEB SITES

EMS Wireless , a division of EMS Technologies Inc. located in Atlanta, GA, has launched a Web site that features an entire on-line product catalog, antenna search feature, complete antenna pattern library downloadable in 14 different formats and product application photographs. Contact information, useful technical data and links to other industry sites are provided. A registration opportunity is available at the site, which will automatically send the user product updates and announcements. The site can be accessed at www.emswireless.com.

Comsearch has launched a Web site (www.ComsearchOnline.com) that offers engineering software and data products for designing wireless networks. The site is intended to become a portal for wireless network design by providing customers with quick and efficient access to engineering services, GIS products (including morphology and building databases), and technical and administrative information for wireless systems.

Optotek Ltd. , Ontario, Canada, is offering a demonstration version of the MMICAD™ suite of CAE/CAT software on its Web site. The software allows for precise circuit simulation, layout and device modeling, contributing to design realization and high yield, affordable manufacturing of RF and microwave circuits. The site can be accessed at www.optotek.com.

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